While Doing Brand Research, Focus on the Context and Consumer 

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While Doing Brand Research, Focus on the Context and Consumer 

We start to unveil some of our latest findings about shopping behavior in our latest article for ESOMAR’s Research World blog. In it, our CEO Rebecca Brooks explores how trends like promiscuous decision making, digital ecosystems and a deepening divide among brand categories affect the way we should be approaching consumer insights. Our research has shown that there is power in moving away from brand-focused to consumer context focused research techniques in order for brands to elevate insights and create more meaningful consumer relationships.


Alter Agent’s research has found that 62% of shoppers are promiscuous shoppers, which means “the propensity to look for new brands and products before considering previously purchased brands,” Rebecca elaborates. She next identifies four main causes:

  • Unbounded distribution: Consumers have access to any item any time.
  • Rapid innovation: Due to technology and innovation, there is always a newer version/upgrade.
  • Expectation economy: Any current expectation will be replaced with a new one.
  • Digital filtering: Brand is falling short to other categories such as price, reviews, and features.

It is trends like this that mean brands need to take another look at how they are approaching their audiences. 


Rebecca also writes about the variety of shopping styles that our latest research uncovered, which can vary not only by the shopper themselves but also by the category in which the item to be purchased falls. She maintains that this distinction is due to: “the consumer’s state of mind about the category itself. It is important for brands to uncover that state of mind before making assumptions about shopping styles.” For example, the same questions should not be asked by soda brands and automotive brands. We must dive deeper into the mind of the consumer, in context.


It is trends like these that make it necessary to modify our approach to consumer insights, shifting from brand narcissism to a focus on the consumer. “While many of the same questions are relevant – awareness, familiarity, consideration – researchers must push beyond these metrics to understand how their client brands can intercept shoppers who are becoming less and less interested in loyalty.” Rebecca gives a few guidelines to consider when searching for consumer insights: “Brands must operate from a posture of constant customer acquisition, purchasers are often not thinking about brand first (or at all), and competition is coming at brands from all angles.” 


Rebecca concludes her article by saying, “The onus is on us to keep up today’s marketplace and understand the way that our audiences are thinking – and shopping – in order to help brands and marketers make good business decisions.” Consumers must be the main focus for market researchers.

For the complete article visit: https://www.researchworld.com/new-approaches-to-brand-equity-research-understanding-how-context-influences-brand-perceptions/

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